Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:41 pm
Valuable properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in an inferno that razed the Edo State secretariat of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), in Benin, Edo state, over the weekend.
The incident which was said to have occurred at about 3 pm on Saturday, completely destroyed a store containing hundreds of unused mattresses and chairs.
Also consumed by the inferno were offices containing official files and records and other office equipment.
It was gathered that the fire was a spillover from a nearby building where a refuse dump was set on fire but left unattended to.
The building and the NYSC secretariat were separated by a perimeter fence.
It was also gathered that the intervention of fire service from the state government and the Nigerian Airforce, prevented the inferno from spreading to the finance and accounts unit of the NYSC building.
Some members of staff of the corps were said to have visited the secretariat when they receive the information.
One of them who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The fire started at about 3 pm yesterday (Saturday). A woman was burning dirt in a nearby building. The fire was near the fence.
“The workers knew about the fire; they have been coming to see it since yesterday (Saturday). The inferno also affected the canteen.”
When contacted, the NYSC Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Benjamin Esan, confirmed the incident.
He however added that the management was yet to get details on the circumstances surrounding the fire, since it recently returned from an orientation programme for corps members at the NYSC camp in Okada, Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state.
“Yes, I heard about it. It happened at the weekend but I was not there. But I learned the fire service operatives were there.
“We just returned from camp. So, I cannot really say much until Monday,” Esan said.
It was gathered that the State Coordinator, Mr. Yusuf Abdulahi, would assess the level of damage on Monday.